Some of you are probably curious about self-publishing, and maybe you can’t decide which route to go, or if you are wanting to get a book printed, who has the best service? Here is my review of my book, NEVERMOR, which I had printed through CreateSpace. This is how I feel about the service and the product.
The Setup: As with all of these self-publishing things, it’s good to be a bit computer savvy. I don’t know all there is to know about computers, but I can feel my way around. You can pay someone through CreateSpace to set up the files for you – starting at $200+. And that doesn’t mean editing. It means setting the files up properly for print! I decided to do it myself, and with my moderate level of understanding, I found it pretty easy. It’s a matter of setting up your Word document like they describe (they even provide size templates), and then uploading the file into an “interior previewer” program which will show you your formatting mistakes. My most common were gutter errors. Some fonts are not supported, and the program will chastise you for that as well, but it will replace fonts it doesn’t recognize with something else. If you want your own fonts to stick, you have to convert to PDF yourself. I chose not to go through the trouble and simply replace some of my fonts.
The main annoyance: I got a lot of gutter errors and wasn’t sure why. I didn’t figure this out until just now, but the file converts to PDF for you, and even if you use THEIR template, the file does not convert directly over. For example, your page 1 may not have the same amount of words on it as it does in the interior viewer, and by the time you get to the end, there are more pages than you thought. This caused gutter errors for me, but once I figured it out, I was able to fix it.
So, ease of setup: Easy-Medium.
The Cover: Overall, I only had two issues with the way the book turned out (minor ones) and both have to do with the outside, so let’s start with that.
I’m not going to go into how I set up the cover file myself, but THAT caused me some trouble and was the most annoying thing about the whole process, I feel. The cover, spine and back have to be one image, and it has to be centered and in PDF format for it to work, or else you can use a cover from CreateSpace or have them make you one…for another hefty price that starts at 250 for a basic one and goes all the way to $1000 for an original illustration. I hired an artist from outside to illustrate a cover for me, and paid wayyy less. As you can see, it’s freaking awesome.
Anyway, moving on to the actual product.
Resolution: The resolution of the cover image was slightly less than I hoped it would be. It’s not much less, but I’m pretty sure it’s not quite as crisp as the original image. Still, it looks good anyway, so I’m not seething over it. I’m happy. Also, I think the coloring is just slightly different – and felt that the back cover was a bit darker than what I sent (I’ll be revising some of this so maybe I won’t have this issue again with the second proof.
The Spine: My main problem has to do with the spine of the book. I provided my own cover based on a template that CreateSpace generated, which was based on the number of pages in my book. I followed that template down to the pixel, and yet when I got the book, the spine is not aligned properly. See? You can’t tell from the front because the spine is so similar, but on the back, you can see where it bleeds over. I’m going to try to fix this, but it is not done by following their template.
But on a plus side for the binding, there is a crease down the front and back, near the spine. When I first saw it, I was like “ewwww I don’t like that” but after I actually opened up the book to read it, I decided that it was pretty cool. If you’re like me (I don’t know how many people are) but I treat my paperbacks like they’re babies, and am against creasing them in any way! Especially the spine! I don’t even like fingerprints on them, but that’s my issue. Anyway, these creases on the front keep the spine from being creased. Will the cover wear in those creases on the front? Yes, I think so. With a lot of bending (complete bending) I think these creases will probably turn white and mar the front of the book. Judge this as you will.
Some people believe that books are no good unless they have been sullied, written in or otherwise “loved” but I just can’t bring myself to hurt a book. When I finish reading, more than likely the book still looks like it came from the store. So, I do like these creases, but that’s my opinion.
The Inside: The inside looks great and I didn’t have a problem with anything about how it was printed.
Paper: The paper is nice quality, and thick. The printing is good quality and it looks exactly as I formatted it (could be for better or worse, depending on the type of editor you are). The only thing was that I chose WHITE PAPER instead of cream, and I am going to change it. It looks fine, but in some light (like natural sunlight) the light reflects off the white page so much that it is blinding. So, cream colored paper it is. I think it will be easier on the eyes.
Speed: The printing was really fast. I expected it to take several days, but actually the book was received and printed and shipped the same day! I had it in my mailbox by the end of the week. Very fast!
Quality: The overall quality of the book is really good for a paperback, and I’m very pleased.The binding is solid, the pages are nice and thick, the printing looks great and as a whole it looks very professional.
Overall, I think this paperback looks better/is better quality than most of the ones I have on my shelf, produced by the big-money publishers. I give it a thumbs-up!
In other news, I finished reading my proof of Nevermor, corrected a few things and changed some of the layout. Now it’s time to order the second proof and see how it looks – which will probably require me to read it AGAIN, but that’s okay. I want this done right. With any luck, it will be perfect this time, and then the book will be made available to you! EXCITED! Finally I am reaching the end of my journey with this book!
So now, what is next? As most of you know, I have MANY books that need publishing, and not just Forsaken Dreamscape! I’m going to use this blog to mostly talk about the Nevermor series, but just to let you know, you’re probably going to be seeing another book from me before the end of the year. 🙂 At least one more! :O